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The 2018 Budget Law for the protection of employees who are victims of harassment (Newsletter Norme & Tributi no. 126 – Italian-German Chamber of Commerce – Vittorio De Luca, Luciano Vella)

The 2018 Budget Law (Law no. 205 dated 27 December 2017) introduced in the “Code of equal opportunities for men and women” (Legislative Decree 198/2006) new protections against discrimination due to harassment, including sexual harassment, in the workplace. In particular, the Italian legislator – having taken into consideration the widespread occurrence of such conduct – wished to protect the employees who, in practical terms, are in the process of filing a complaint against said conduct and, therefore, are taking action in Court. On this issue, the budget law expressly establishes that the employee who is acting in court to file for discrimination based on harassment or sexual harassment, may not be penalized, demoted, dismissed, transferred or subjected to any other organizational measure that has a direct or indirect negative effect on his/her work conditions, as determined by the claim. Therefore, any retaliatory or discriminatory dismissal of the reporting party, as well as any change of duties ordered against him/her for said reasons shall be deemed null and void. In light of the above, all employers must establish an adequate preventive and penalty system capable of preventing such criminal phenomena. This can be achieved by using appropriate protocols within the 231 models.